Obadia B. McFadden Biography


        Obediah B. McFadden was born in West Middletown, Washington County, Pennsylvania, on November 18th, 1814.

        He was educated in the public schools and the McKeever Academy at Washington, Pa. He studied law and was admitted to practice in the year 1843, being elected to the State Legislature in the same year.

        In 1845 he was elected Prothonotary of Washington County and afterwards practiced law in Washington City, Pa. until 1853, when he was appointed by President Pierce as Associated Justice of the Supreme Court of the Territory of Oregon. In 1854 he was transferred by the same President to a corresponding official position in the Territory of Washington. In 1858 President Buchanan appointed him Chief Justice of Washington Territory, which office he held until 1861. Subsequently he was elected on the Union Ticket as a member of and became President of the Legislative Council of the Territory. In the same year shortly after the commencement of the Rebellion, he presided over the Territorial Mass Convention, held at Olympia, the first out-spoken demonstration that our Territory was for maintaining at all hazards the perpetuity of the Federal Union, and his speech delivered at that meeting proved the deciding factor that the Territory should stay in the Union. After that date he practiced law in his home City Olympia until, in 1873, he was elected as a Delegate to Congress as a Democrat from the Territory and served one term.

        He was married in 1837 to Margaret Caldwell, a daughter of Joseph and Catherine Caldwell of Monongahela City, Pa.

        He served one enlistment as a private in the Vancouver Rangers during the Indian War of 1855-6 and was honorably discharged.

        He died on June 25th, 1875, and is buried in Olympia, Washington, the city which had long been his home.

Arthur F. Benson's Original Biography Document